Dr. Saba Khodayarifard

Regulations and conditions of psychotherapy

Making appointments for psychotherapy sessions is necessary. You can make appointments by phone, SMS, WhatsApp, or email.

Punctuality is of very high importance. You will normally not be kept waiting. If you arrive on time for your appointment, you can use your 45 minutes well. But on time does not also mean 15 minutes early! It is inconvenient for my patients and me, if their session is interrupted by the next person who arrives much too early for their appointment.

Openness, honesty, and mutual respect are important for a good psychotherapy. Patients are allowed and even urged to speak as openly as they can about anything and everything in therapy. Anything could be important in therapy. Social etiquette, shame, the therapist’s possible feelings or anything else should not get in the way of speaking openly. The more openly and honestly one speaks in therapy, the more one benefits from it.

If you are my patient, your friends, family members and people who have a close contact with you normally cannot also separately be in therapy with me. In the case that your partner, friend, or someone close to you needs therapy, I can try and refer them to a colleague.

Psychotherapy is highly efficient in treating a great range of problems, but it normally takes time. If you decide to make positive changes in your life by starting a therapy, be patient, and the results you expect, and sometimes even positive changes you do not expect will come with time.

A partial reimbursement for individual or group therapy sessions from the health insurances in Austria is possible. To claim a partial reimbursement from your health insurance, you require a referral from your general practitioner or your psychiatrist (a form with the title Bestätigung für Psychotherapie) with an ICD-10 diagnosis before the second therapy session. which you send to the insurance together with my bills. You could send them by post or electronically. If you have paid in cash, my receipts will suffice, but if you have paid via bank transfer, you also need to show the insurance that you have paid.

The length of a therapy session is usually fix. An individual, couple, or family therapy session normally takes 45 minutes (altogether 50 minutes, including 5 minutes for documentation after the session). But one can also request double sessions (90 minutes) which would be charged as two therapy sessions. Group therapy sessions and group supervisions take 90 minutes.

Cancellation or changing an appointment needs to be corresponded in writing and at least 48 hours before the appointment, otherwise the missed appointment or an appointment which has been cancelled too late will be fully charged.

The freedom of taking it at your own pace, taking time to build trust to talk about difficult topics, and the freedom of asking me questions is in my opinion the right of my patients. But if you keep something important from your therapist, you may not benefit from your therapy optimally. No one would be forced to speak about something. But it is often liberating and relieving to dare and speak about secrets, embarrassing topics, tabus, sexuality, traumas, dreams, and everything else in therapy.

If couple and individual psychotherapy are both required and only one can be afforded, couple therapy usually takes precedence. It is ok for different forms of therapies to be conducted simultaneously by different therapists.

I do not accept any more patients with full coverage of the insurance.

With the Austrian Health Insurance (ÖGK) the first 10 sessions do not need approval and would be paid with the doctor’s referral. If you wish to continue to receive the reimbursement beyond the 10th session, please inform me before the 11th session, so I write a contract to your insurance for you and apply for more sessions. You send this contract to your insurance and reimbursement is usually approved for further sessions. It could take a couple of weeks until you receive the approval from the insurance. To write you this contract, I charge the fee of an individual session. This charge will not be refunded by the insurance.

Regularity and frequency sessions are essential for psychotherapy. For most of the cases, it is required to have at least once weekly therapy sessions in order to get efficient results. More frequent therapy usually leads to faster and more profound results. If therapy sessions are visited irregularly and in longer intervals, results are not achieved or are slowed down.

Confidentiality is one of the most important rules to which all psychotherapists are bound. All the contents of therapy are highly confidential, and the therapist is not allowed to share what a patient discusses with him or her in therapy with anyone, unless it is required to save a life or prevent actual harm. For example, if a suicidal patient cannot efficiently be protected against a suicide attempt, according to the therapist’s judgement, the therapist may inform the police to save the patient’s life. Even the content of therapies with children and adolescents are regarded as confidential and cannot be discussed with anyone else, even the parents or legal guardians.

A personal relationship between therapist and patients outside the psychotherapeutic relationship is prohibited and harmful to both parties. For example, a therapist may not form a friendship, partnership, business deal and such with the patients.

Payment for the therapy sessions would be possible in cash or by bank transfer. You receive an invoice or a bill from me by email or in print if requested. If you pay by bank transfer, it is required that you put in the number of the invoice (Rechnungsnummer) in reference.

If we use the approved sessions, but you still require therapy, please let me know on time, so I write you another contract. For the second contract, the insurance requires a letter from a specialist (psychiatrist, neurologist, or clinical psychologist).